James Roy Barnhill, Sr., was born May 13, 1939 in French Camp, Mississippi to Rondale Isaiah and Ada Edna (Tilghman) Barnhill. The youngest of five siblings, he grew up in Choctaw and Montgomery County and attended school there.
In 1956, he enlisted in the service and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, SC. After completion of basic training, he was transferred to the Mississippi National Guard until 1958 when he enlisted in the United States Navy. During his time in the Navy, he made several West Pacific cruises aboard the USS Midway and visited many ports of call along the way including Hong Kong, Philippines and Japan which was his favorite. He also spent time patrolling the coast of Vietnam during the conflict there.
It was while attending secondary training in 1962 for his rate as an electrician’s mate that he met his wife, Sharon. The two were wed in November 1963 and spent the next 59 and a half years together until his passing. Mr. Barnhill and his wife had three children. They spent many years in Southern Maryland where he continued to work for the Department of the Navy after his discharge from active duty in 1968 until retirement.
In the early 90’s they relocated to Wisconsin near his wife’s birthplace where they spent the next decade until finally settling with his son Robert in Berryville.
He is preceded in death by his parents and all his siblings; sisters, Ida (Blaylock), Margaret, Norma Mae/ Ellen (Start) and his brother Ronald.
He is survived by his wife Sharon, his three children; James Roy, Jr. (Susan) of Fredericksburg, VA, Robert Daniel (MaryAnn) of Berryville, VA and Rebecca Marie (Tom Baker) of Andover, MN; nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Mr. Barnhill was not one to boast of his achievements but, instead considered the fact he was saved by the blood of Christ to be his most noteworthy quality as evidenced by the words he wrote a few days before his death…
“I did not die young; I did not die hungry. I did not die in poverty; I did not die without family and Christian brothers and sisters. Most important of all, I did not die without salvation provided by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been most richly blessed.”
A graveside service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on May 4, 2023, at Bluff Springs Cemetery near Winona.
Memorial contributions may be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork Street, Winchester, VA 22601.